Image result for the beatles a hard day's night movie poster

I was only three years old in 1964 when The Beatles invaded America. I have no memory at all of it. My first Beatles memory is hearing “Yellow Submarine” when I was six or seven. I wish I had been of age when it all happened but sometimes I think my fasination- ok its more of an obsession with The Beatles is due to the fact that I missed out on it when it was happening. I finally ‘discovered’ The Beatles in 1976- but it was still a few years until I saw their first movie A Hard Day,s Night–this was in the days before VHS movies- or DVD’s or cable movie channels. It was probably 1979 or 1980 and I saw it on commercial television the first time. Later on I bought it on VHS- then DVD- and about 15 years ago they re-released it to the movie theaters and I saw the movie as I always wanted to see it -on the big screen. When it came to make a selection in this category I didn’t even give it a seconds thought- it had to be A Hard Day’s Night- nothing else came under consideration. {Another bonus is- on the desert island I get to add with the movie- of course the songs from the movie- so basically another great Beatles album- in my opinion the best Beatles album from their early period was- A Hard Day’s Night.

A Hard Day's Night at 50 | Vanity Fair

I can’t think of two music related events that probably sparked people to join bands or become music artists than -in the winter of 1964- The Beatles when they came on the Ed Sullivan Show- and then in the summer of 1964 after seeing A Hard Day’s Night. Over the years I have read countless accounts of how teenagers- and young adults were inspired by these two events to get into rock music- or to change from playing folk music to going rock and roll. I wonder how many guitars were sold in 1964? The Beatles should have gotten a percent of the profits.

We'll Always Have 'A Hard Day's Night' | by Warm3wind | Medium

A Hard Days Night – a musical comedy- is a fun movie. It was filmed with a documentary type feel by Richard Lester. It was filmed in black and white- {their next movie Help! would be in color.} I can’t imagine this film not in black and white. Screenwriter Alun Owen spent weeks with The Beatles- and got their personalities down perfectly. The images of the individual Beatles from A Hard Day’s Night would stick with them to some degree even to this day. The Beatles had no acting experience you just get the feeling they were playing themselves. During the movie each are given their individual moment to shine but to me Ringo is the one who really shines. There are many memorable scenes but the one that is my favorite is when Ringo before the scheduled concert performance ‘goes parading’ by himself.

Here is George’s scene- George had some of the best lines in the movie- some of which are in this scene. I don’t know how many times I’ve used the ” she’s a drag, a well known drag.”

Another great scene is the “Can’t Buy Me Love” scene.

A Hard Day’s Night was filmed in the spring of 1964- I don’t know where they found the time. Did they get any sleep that year? They had just come back from conquering America- the film was made and in the theaters by summer. It captures Beatlemania perfectly. They didn’t play roles they played themselves. The opening scene is how I always pictured their lives at this point- [ the attachment is a little distorted}

The one ‘outsider” who plays a prominent role is Wilfred Brambell who plays Paul’s ‘clean’ grandfather.

The interview scene- captures The Beatles and their quick wit-

The movie ends with the concert scene. Again the great thing about picking this movie is I get not only The Beatles on film but plenty of great music and the boys seemed like they were having a great time. I imagine if I had been of age in 1964 I would have gone to the theaters to see A Hard Day’s Night a dozen times.

Note- George met his first wife Pattie while making the movie- she shows up in a few scenes early in the movie. Also a young teenager named Phil Collins was an extra in the concert scene.


  1. We most certainly have at least that much in common. I was four and a half when they were on the Ed Sullivan Show. For as far back as I can remember, my absolute Beatle (and ’60’s in general) obsession has always been quite a major cornerstone of so much of my life. I especially like their pre~’Rubber Soul’ era.

  2. I was already playing guitar when the boys appeared on Ed Sullivan, but the next day, I took it more serious. The music stores in Dallas ran out of guitars and amps, and the barber shops lost 50 percent of their business over night. I was more than inspired by the Beatles and their first movie. I joined my first rock band in 1964 and ended my band days in 2018. Those fellows changed musical and cultural history.

  3. When I first saw the Beatles films in the late-70’s/early-80’s, Help was my favorite at first. Maybe it was the James Bond theme, maybe it was due to it being in color. Now A Hard Day’s Night is my favorite. It’s really like there’s no script, just them being themselves, and that’s all they needed to do. They were that funny. Along with George’s “She’s a drag, a well-known drag” line, I think my other favorite line is when they’re in the hallway of the theater and the older lady (actress?) stops when she sees John and determines it’s not really “him.” John’s line (paraphrasing), “You look more like him than I do” was ad-libbed, and brilliant.

  4. I love this period of the Beatles…their songs were incredible. They were sort of a young Marx Brothers in this movie. This movie certainly defined their images right or wrong for the rest of their career. This movie is not only a great music movie but a great comedy. The writing is great.
    You will have to share this on the island.

  5. I still have to see this (in entirety- I’ve seen various clips through the years). Certainly a great lineup of music and you’re right, man, did those four ever take a day off or sleep back then? I think it’s no exaggeration to say pop & rock can easily be broken down into a pre-Beatles on ed Sullivan vs post-Beatles on Ed Sullivan eras. They changed everything… of course by time I was old enough to hear them and appreciate them a little, that had happened …when I began listening to music on my own, they’d already broken up but I do recall hearing ‘Sgt Pepper’ played in my house quite a bit when I was very young.

  6. Have tried to watch The Beatles movies but haven’t connected with them. I was a teenager or older at the time. I do like the scenes you show here now, so maybe I’ll give them another chance at some point.

  7. I love this movie. Since Beatles’ films are not all available via streaming services, I purchased the on-demand version of this one for my Prime streaming library, because I could. I sometimes put it on when I’m having trouble sleeping, because it makes me happy. I remember the buzz about The Beatles back then, but it’s very vague. I was 2 or 3. I had short dark hair, and I remember asking my babysitter to comb my hair like the Beatles. 🙂

  8. Great choice Hans. I’m so old that I saw this at the theater when it came out in 1964. My younger sister and I loved the Beatles, and our dad liked them too, and took us to see the film. John, Paul, George & Ringo were all cute and funny and personable – not to mention that they played awesome music – so the four of them playing themselves in a movie was a sure-fire hit.

  9. Roger McGuinn and his Byrds bandmates were still working on their sound pre-“Mr. Tambourine Man” when they went to the movie theater together and watched “Hard Day’s Night.” McGuinn heard George Harrison’s chiming Rickenbacker twelve-string at the tail-end of the title song, bought himself a Rick, and adopted that chime as the Byrds’ signature sound.

  10. I watched half of this last night and the other half when I got up this morning. Am halfway through the special features disk where people involved are reminiscing about it. WHY have I waited so long? Such a great movie! Paul’s grandpa lends a lot to it. Thanks for motivating me to finally see it.

    • Yes Paul’s grandpa was the big- non-Beatle role in the movie- and without really saying much was hilarious. A fun movie.

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